Photo by Melody

Pot Potential

By Lee Anne Stark (threegardenersApril 14, 2008

Tired of plain old plastic pots? Sure, they come in many colours, but they are still plastic. Let us take a look at some items that have "Pot Potential".

Gardening picture

Just because we keep plants in the house doesn't mean we have to use plain old plastic pots. We all have many items laying around that can be used as pots for our house plants. Take a look around you and see what you might have. All you need is a drill bit. We used a regular bit and masking tape for the stoneware and ceramics. A diamond bit, and more experience than I have, is recommended for glass. Here are some things I have used to help give you a little inspiration.


This old crystal salad bowl, left, was my Mothers. It developed a hairline crack in the side rendering it useless for salads. Being shallow and clear it was the perfect home for some different cactus.

Can you guess what this used to be? Most of us use them and then toss them in the trash when finished. It was a seasonal, decorative scented candle in its past life. Now it is home to a nice little Haworthia.


This is a tea cup set on the left. The beauty of these is they can be found in any thrift shop. They also come with their own matching saucer!! The one pictured was my Grandmothers. Makes a pretty display for miniature African violets. I did not drill a hole in this one.

To the right is a Stoneware coffee cup. The coffee cups that come with dish sets are way to small for a decent cup of coffee anyways. Might as well use them for plants, again, they come complete with matching saucers. Aloe babies in this one. They make a great gift as well.


Does anybody really ever use candy dishes anymore? That's what the photo on the left is/was. Now, it is home to another cactus. If it weren't being used for plants, it would be relegated to the very back of a china cabinet somewhere, bored and forgotten.

Patience is the key to the drilling part. A slow, steady speed of the bit reduces breakage. We put masking tape on the inside of the area we are drilling. I only drill holes in the inexpensive, thrift store stoneware, ceramics and the candles. Yard sales are another good source, coffee cups with saucers, beer steins, tea cups, etc. can all be found "dirt" cheap.

If you are careful with a watering can the holes may not be needed, just remember that without drainage there is a greater possibility of roots rotting. The African Violets I plant in the China teacups are easy to monitor for watering needs. The same for the cactus, I can let them dry right out before watering again. The salad bowls and candy dishes are shallow enough to stick a finger in to test for moisture.

There you have it. Beautiful pots for your house plants.Take a look around and see what possibilities exist in your home. You might be surprised.

All photos in this article are my own.




  About Lee Anne Stark  
Lee Anne StarkI am an avid gardener who shares my gardens with 2 other equally avid gardeners. I garden for fun and relaxation, never paying attention to the rules!! During the long, cold winter months I occupy my time playing with over a hundred house plants, my six cats and two dogs.

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